Ingredient Name: Ginseng Fruit, Sapodilla, or Manilkara zapot
Traditional Chinese Name: 人参果 (rénshēn guǒ)
What is this?
- The fruit of the sapodilla tree (which is an evergreen) grown in warm climates
- The fruit itself has a very sweet and malty taste
- The name “ginseng” fruit comes from the Chinese name (where 人参 is the Chinese word for ginseng)
- It is a heart shaped fruit that is about the size of a large plum (about 2-3 inches in diameter)
- Ginseng fruit reminds me of white tomatoes! (The texture is more firm though.)
- It is classified as a warming ingredient
How do I prepare it?
- Rinse in warm water
- Cut into halves
Where can I buy this?
- Asian supermarkets may carry this (although it depends on season)
- Wet marts may also carry this (although I have never seen it – or maybe just haven’t asked for it yet)
What is the cost
- Ginseng fruit is very affordable
- Each costs around $2-3 HKD per fruit
- It is naturally sweet and adds a unique (ginseng-like) flavor to the soup without using real ginseng (which is more expensive)
- Rich in essential trace elements (iron and zinc)
- Excellent source of Vitamin C, B1, B2
- Ginseng fruit is high in protein
- The fruit is also low in fat
- It is said to be anti-cancer, anti-aging, helps lower blood pressure and reduce blood sugar
- Be sure to use ripen ginseng fruit, as unripe contains an ingredient which dries the mouth
- Can store fresh ginseng fruit in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. You can feel the fruit for firmness. If it’s not firm, discard.